TCPCHW Chapter 18 Part 1
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 18 Dragon Boat Festival (1/2)
The midsummer of the fifth month was the peak season for poisonous insects, also known as the poisonous month. Of course, this season also had another beautiful name, Plum Blossom Falling Days.
Dragon Boat Festival.
On the fifth day of the fifth month, it was Tomb Sweeping Day. Also was called “Five Poisons Day”, also known as the “Evil Day”.
On the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, the civil and military officials of the court took a break to show the great kindness of the Emperor, and the monarch and his ministers celebrated together.
From the imperial family to the common people, every household was busy and lively in preparing for the coming Poisonous Month, in order to ward off evil spirits and avoid harm and pray for longevity and good health.
The Duke of Zhenguo Mansion was no exception.
Early in the morning of the Dragon Boat Festival, Qin Yan was served by Shen Ying to get up. When she was changing clothes, Qin Yan smelled a special smell on her robe today.
There were only a few kinds of incense commonly used in Qin Yan’s clothes. Without her instructions, the servants would not take the initiative to change the incense for her.
Seeing that her master didn’t intend to change the robe after touching it, rather frowned slightly, Shen Ying explained, “This morning, Madam Shizi of the Duke Mansion, who is your aunt, Madam Fang, instructed the servants to smoke atractylodes and angelica everywhere in the mansion, and she didn’t even let go of daily necessities and clothing. Madam said that smoking the two herbs, atractylodes and angelica on the Dragon Boat Festival can ward off disease, avoid the plague, and keep everyone in the mansion safe.”
Qin Yan didn’t like to change her habits, but now she still lived in the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion. Since it was arranged by her aunt, she could only follow her aunt’s arrangement. Fortunately, the smell was not too unpleasant.
After Qin Yan finished dressing and had breakfast, Aunt Fang Su sent someone to invite Qin Yan to the main hall.
Qin Yan was puzzled for a moment, was there something important to talk about in the main hall?
Qin Yan didn’t think much and walked out the door with Shen Ying.
Seeing that the lintels and corridors of the rooms passing by along the way were hung with calamus and mugwort leaves that were not usually there, Qin Yan stopped to take a look, and Shen Ying explained, “Madam Shizi said that calamus and mugwort leaves can ward off insects and prevent diseases, and they were put on the hook by the servants.”
Qin Yan seldom cared about these lunar periods’ traditional customs. The major and trivial things had been enough to keep them busy these years, and they hadn’t had any festivals for a long time. Besides, Mister Ji in the mansion was knowledgeable about pharmacology, deworming and plague prevention. Normally, Mister Ji was in charge of this, and they didn’t do it in a certain lunar period.
When Qin Yan arrived in the main hall, she saw that in addition to her Aunt Fang Su, there was only a sleepy Shen Ci sitting in the hall. But she didn’t see his grandfather and uncle.
Shen Ci, who was leaning on the back of the chair with his eyes closed, heard Qin Yan come in and said, “Mother, Yanyan is here, so let’s get started. I got a new book “Wei Liaozi” from my grandfather. It kept me awake all night, and I have to go back to make up for it.” After speaking, he yawned.
Qin Yan looked puzzledly at her Aunt Fang Su, who was facing her and Shen Ci sideways at the moment, busy with her hand on the sandalwood table.
At this time, Fang Su seemed to be ready, turned around, and waved to Qin Yan, “Yanyan, quickly come over.”
Fang Su turned again and reprimanded Shen Ci lightly, “Shen Ci, sit properly, what does it look like!”
Qin Yan walked over slowly. Shen Ci also got up and walked in front of Fang Su.
Fang Su raised a tray with two black glaze cups filled with wine.
“This is realgar wine. I only added a little realgar to the wine. It can ward off insects and detoxify the five poisons. It is not harmful to the body. You should drink it quickly.”
Under Fang Su’s expectant gaze, the two drank the realgar wine in the wine cup.
The two had just put the wine cups on the tray when Fang Su picked up two five-colored strings from the table.
“These five-color strings are made by me. They are made of green, red, purple, black, and yellow threads. According to “Baopuzi”, hanging the five-colored paper in the mountains can summon supernatural beings to protect their safety and health. The five colors symbolize the five elements and have auspicious meanings, so please extend your hands to me.”
Shen Ci and Qin Yan looked at each other, not knowing what happened to Fang Su at this time, and hesitantly stretched out their hands to Fang Su.
Fang Su tied the five-color strings, one for each person, to their wrists.
Later, Fang Su tied a wormwood sachet around their waists, wrapped in silk cloth, and the fragrance was overflowing.
Shen Ci’s sachet was embroidered with five poisonous patterns, while Qin Yan’s sachet was embroidered with pomegranate flowers. The sachet was fastened with five-color silk strings, which were connected into a ruyi pattern, and the workmanship was quite exquisite.
Fang Su told the two that there were cinnabar, realgar, and incense in the sachet.
“Wear the sachet to ward off poison and avoid harm. You’re not allowed to take it off. Be good.”
Fang Su watched with satisfaction as the two children were tidied up by her obediently.
Shen Ci finally understood that his mother was doing the custom of the Dragon Boat Festival, but these things were made by the elders of ordinary people’s homes for children, but he was already in his twenties, and Qin Yan was no longer a child.
Shen Ci’s tone was a little helpless, “Mother, we are not children anymore. Why are you still doing this?”
“What are you talking about? In front of me, you’ll always be children.” Fang Su interrupted Shen Ci’s words and turned to clean up the table.
At this time, Fang Su, who turned her back to the two, had wet eyes, and she tried to calm down.
When the two were children, they went to the Northwest battlefield. As Shen Ci’s mother, Qin Yan’s aunt, and their elders, they never took care of these two children during these festivals. As a member of this family, she knew very well that these two children would not celebrate these festivals in the Northwest all these years.
And Yanyan was even more bitter. She was without a mother at a young age, and she was not close to her father’s family. How could any elders have given her all this?
Fang Su was determined to make up for the lack of these two children, which was the only thing she could do as a woman.
Shen Ci noticed that his mother’s shoulders trembled slightly and seemed to understand something. He took a step forward and put his hands on Fang Su’s thin shoulders.
“Yes, in front of my mother, I will always be a child.” Shen Ci’s voice softened.
Qin Yan raised her fair wrist, stroked the brightly colored strings with her slender fingers, and looked at Fang Su, “Thank you, Auntie.”
Qin Yan was not used to wearing jewelry on her wrist, but she still didn’t take it off. She understood her aunt’s intention.
Per Emperor of Hui’s order, Qin Yan entered the palace at weishi (1 pm – 3 pm).
Qin Yan got off the carriage at the palace gate and took the sedan chair arranged by the chief eunuch, Li Fuquan, to pick her up.
There was a good saying that the rivals inevitably crossed paths.
Not long after entering the inner court, she actually ran into Imperial Concubine Shu, who was sitting on the sedan chair, face to face.
Both of them just sat steadily, looked at each other coldly, and did not speak.
Only after the palace servants on both sides saluted the master on the opposite side, they passed by. At the moment that passed by, the two of them didn’t glance sideways, like two strangers.
Imperial Concubine Shu was the first-rank imperial concubine, and Qin Yan was the highest-rank princess. Of course, their ranks were not comparable. Qin Yan, as a younger generation and a minister, should have stepped down and saluted Imperial Concubine Shu.
The last time she entered the palace, Qin Yan was only the first eldest daughter of the Right Prime Minister Mansion, the young lady of the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion, and the niece of Imperial Concubine Shu. That time Qin Yan got off the carriage at the gate of the palace and walked into the Chengqian Palace.
But today, since Imperial Concubine Shu had been making a fuss about Qin Yan’s disrespect to the elders and ignorance of etiquette, Qin Yan would take the name seriously.
When Imperial Concubine Shu saw Qin Yan, she also wanted to take the elder’s air to suppress her, but the other party was also holding the air too, so Imperial Concubine Shu endured it again.
The last time she confronted Qin Yan, she didn’t get a good deal. She was locked up for a whole month, and she only left the palace a few days ago. She couldn’t figure out where the bottom line of His Majesty’s attitude towards Qin Yan was, but the future was long. She had seen many ups and downs in the palace over the years. Who could be so favored extensively? She was waiting for Qin Yan’s unfortunate day and at that time…
Imperial Concubine Shu hated Qin Yan. This girl was even more annoying than her mother Shen Shiying. Shen Shiying was just arrogant, but Qin Yan was blatantly rampant.
This girl could hurt people in her Chengqian Palace, and she did such disrespectful things to her elders at the wedding banquet in Prime Minister Qin Mansion the day before yesterday. She Qin Yan was only a younger generation, so ignorant of etiquette, and when Imperial Concubine Shu thought of her, she was so angry that her fingernails dug into her flesh.